The Hinds Community College Hi-Steppers alumni will get together Oct 27 for a gala dinner and program in honor of the Hinds Centennial to celebrate their fame as one of the nation’s oldest college precision dance teams.
The gala will also raise money to pay for a beautiful new mural commemorating the history of the Hi-Steppers.
The gala will take place at Bee Hall on the Raymond Campus, home of the Hi-Steppers and named for longtime director Anna Cowden Bee. A reception and silent auction are at 6 p.m. with a dinner and program to begin at 7 p.m.
The next day, Oct. 28, the alumni Hi-Steppers will perform at the game that begins at 2 p.m. “It is my hope to have a record number of ladies returning to participate in both of these events,” said Carol Warren, president of the Hi-Steppers alumni chapter. “No matter what year you were a Hi-Stepper, the sisterhood that was formed and the love we have for having been through the program is immeasurable.”
Originally called the High-Steppers, the Hinds Hi-Steppers got their start in 1950 when the majorettes who accompanied the Hinds Junior College Band transitioned into a precision dance and drill team like the ones becoming all the rage at that time.
The first true group of Hi-Steppers as a dance team featured 22 young women. The Hi-Steppers made their first out-of-state appearance on New Year’s Day 1952 at the Oleander Bowl Game between Hinds and San Angelo Junior College in Galveston, Texas. The group also performed in February 1953 in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, and, in May, at the Cotton Carnival in Memphis.
The Hi-Steppers began to take off when Anna Cowden Bee was hired by then-President George McLendon as the director in 1953. Mrs. Bee modeled the Hi-Steppers on the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, who are noted for their high leg kicks and jazz movements in a single-line formation.
Over the years, the Hi-Steppers have performed both in and out of state and internationally more times than can be counted. Among their many notable performances over the years was in 1954 at the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., the first New Orleans Saints home game in 1967, annual appearances at the Neshoba County Fair, until Mrs. Bee retired, the Miss America Parade in Atlantic City, N.J. and World’s Fair expositions in New York City, New Orleans and Toronto.
The Hi-Stepper Alumnae Association organized in 1981. For a number of years, beginning in 1996, the Hi-Steppers hosted an annual gala to raise money for the Anna Cowden Bee Scholarship. Mrs. Bee served an astonishing 55 years as director until she retired in 2007. She died in 2013. Replacing her as director was former Hi-Stepper Angela Hite, who is the current director.
The Hi-Steppers today perform with the Eagle Marching Band at football games, exhibitions, parades and community and charitable events.
Tickets for the gala are as follows:
Gold Patron Sponsor of $500 includes four tickets to the Gala and a half page ad in the Commemorative Program.
Silver Patron Sponsor of $250 includes two tickets to the Gala and a listing in the Commemorative Program.
Friends of the Hi-Steppers Sponsor of $50 includes one ticket to the Gala.
For information contact Libby Posey at 601.857.3350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.